By Hailey Minton
A woman asked me on a Facebook group page what my COVID-19 experience has been like. A moment of reflection led me to nail down this lesson: Don’t dwell on the things I can’t control and do my utmost to create ideal situations with the things that I can. Golden moments have materialized in conjunction with the trying times. It seems like the residents of North Ogden and Pleasant View are absolutely making the best out of the things they can control.
One example is Marjean Jolley, who is a local photographer. She started going to peoples’ homes to take family photos after families began to shelter in place. She is the woman behind the camera for each photo on the cover of the magazine! Marjean is a part of a photographer Facebook group, and this idea for front porch portraits began circling around once quarantine began to isolate families. Marjean loves what she does, and she felt she could use her talent as a way to lift others up. “It creates a little bit of fun and joy,” she said, and that seems to be something valuable in these times. She has a lens that allows her to take family photos from the road, and she loves chatting with families while maintaining adequate distance between them. “It’s so fun catching families in their joy and having fun.” Having a camera in hand is therapy for her, and she has been doing these portraits for free and emailing families galleries of the photos she takes.
The Tri-City Exchange is a North Ogden organization that was created as people began to be affected by COVID-19. Here, people can give their extra supplies and take what they need. Mike Larson owns Advanced Armor Technology, a vehicle body armor company. He has since turned his business’ warehouse into a pantry. When he heard of the need for food and supplies the community was facing, he acted quickly to find a solution. He came up with the idea on a Wednesday, and he talked to North Ogden City, obtained the proper licensing, created the logos, and connected with suppliers to get things rolling before the week was out! He and other volunteers help around 220-270 families per day, and, one day, they helped 1,723 families! Larson said they have items that other stores don’t have, like diapers and feminine hygiene products. “If I find a need, I find a way to get it,” he said. Larson is either already connected with people and organizations that can help, or he finds a way to connect. “I reach out to anyone and everyone.” Their goal is to never turn away anyone in need, and that means hard work on their end. Advanced Armor Technology’s address is 2067 North Washington Blvd., Ogden, Utah, and hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m., and Saturdays, from 8 p.m.-6 p.m. On Saturday, May 2, the Tri-City Exchange is organizing a firetruck parade to go through North Ogden, Pleasant View, and Harrisville. The following Saturday, May 9, they are holding a social distancing friendly curbside pick up community breakfast at the North View Fire Department. They will have French toast, bacon, and eggs, and they are preparing to feed the masses between 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.! Fire departments from all around will be helping to cook.
The community has shown its creativity, given the new parameters to live within. An event on April 18, put on by the Facebook group, Know North Ogden, encouraged residents to take dinner to their front lawn. The idea was to connect families with their neighbors while staying socially distanced. Other community members participated in egg hunts or teddy bear hunts, where families hid Easter eggs or teddy bears around their property, visible from the road. Parents and children could then walk or drive by and try to find the hidden items.
A parade of around 100 people in vehicles drove past Orvil Terry’s home to celebrate his 95th birthday! Several videos shared on Facebook show him sitting in a chair on his front lawn beside a magnificent sign that read, “Happy 95th Birthday, Orvil.” Many drivers shouted Happy Birthday from their vehicles and played music from their stereos. A North Ogden Police officer drove by and flashed his lights and blipped his siren. There was even a child in a mini electric toy car who drove past with balloons tethered to the back. There have been other vehicle parades of teachers encouraging their students and loved ones welcoming home missionaries.
Weber High teachers gave a video shout-out to their students, letting them know how much they care, miss them, and reminding them that they’re only an email away. Many of them signed off with saying, “We are Weber Strong.” Mr. Potokar from the Visual Arts Department encouraged students to “Try something new, try something different, and increase your skills.“
With this advice in mind, it’s amazing how many online courses are available for free for the time being. If you go to classcentral.com or coursera.org, there are seemingly endless options to grow. I just finished a short little course on stop motion, and I loved it. Look for my stop motion videos on social media this month when we share some of the May recipes! The app I used is called Stop Motion, just in case you or your kids want to give it a try. We would love if you tagged us on social media so we could share your creations with the community!
Our hearts go out to those who have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus. Let’s be real, there are a lot of terrible things that have come along with it. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, as of May 1, there have been 56,245 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the United States. People who ultimately recover from the virus experience fevers, coughs, and poor health. Schools have shut down, businesses have closed, employees have been sent home, and everything seems to be canceled! Could we get a refund for April, please? I’m sure we could go on, but to sum it up in a few words… it has been a trying time. However, some amazing things have come from social distancing and spending more time at home. Focusing on the positive things happening within our communities has really lifted my soul, and I hope it has done the same for you!
Here are some of the positive things North Ogden and Pleasant View residents have noticed that have come from social distancing:
Amanda Hallows Koldewyn: “We’ve finally had time to go on more walks as a family, which has helped our anxiety. My friends and I have discovered where our kids were struggling in school and helped them one on one. It’s not easy, but we’re trying to find the good things.”
Mari Jo Croston: “My two teen boys have never gotten along and, finally, they are actually hanging out, since they have no one else!”
Michelle Worley: “I am doing a bunch of little projects around the house that I never had time for. I love the slower pace of life right now.”
Jessica Glover: “Our older boys are actually asking to play board games with us.” She said it was like pulling teeth to get her boys to play before. Yahtzee is the family favorite game.
Dave-Kelli Christensen Hall: They love seeing all the kids playing outside!
Amanda Lee is enjoying family time, getting more done around the house, and getting more work done from home. She feels more rested and happy.
Colette Henderson is enjoying life slowed down and spending time with her husband and daughter who are working and schooling from home.